Combining elements of both rock and folk music, along with disturbingly personal sentiments, dark humor, and a voice able to channel both the falsetto highs of Neil Young and the wavering raspy low tones of Leonard Cohen, Toronto's Hayden Desser has spent the last 15 years creating uniquely affecting music.
The critically acclaimed musician first appeared in the early '90s armed with only his four-track tape recorder, his unexpectedly low vocal range, and an extremely detuned guitar. Going simply by the name Hayden, he recorded his self-released cassette, In September, in 1994, and much of the material included evolved into his first proper LP, 1995's Everything I Long For. Initially self-released on his own Hardwood Records, the debut disc toed the line between beautiful and horrifying, touching on simple details of human interaction as well as delving into macabre tales that still retained an oddly personal edge. After a year of touring Canada, E.T.I.L.F. was picked up by Outpost Recordings (Geffen) and was released worldwide in early 1996. Tours of the U.S., Europe and Japan took up most of 1996, as well as writing and recording the title track to the Steve Buscemi-directed Tree’s Lounge. Hayden’s second full length record. The Closer I Get (1998) was recorded in Toronto, Bearsville, N.Y., Seattle and Los Angeles. After another year of touring, Hayden closed the book on chapter one of his musical endeavors.